Viewpoints: Tulsi Gabbard is up for the challenge

Published: 2/18/2019 11:23:29 AM

As an independent New Hampshire voter who has supported candidates in various parties, I am very excited about the 2020 campaign of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. She has been a member of Congress since 2013 and has served in the Army National Guard since 2004, with two tours of duty in the Middle East. She is one of the first female combat veterans ever elected to Congress, knowing first-hand the cost of war and sending young men and women into battle and the wounds they bear both psychically and mentally. At 37 she already has an impressive 17-year career in public service. Rep.Gabbard is a committed environmentalist and will run her campaign around taking better care of the planet, supporting our veterans, fixing domestic problems and confronting the major issues of war and peace. She will also not be taking PAC money during this campaign.

She has courageously stood up to the corporate forces that own both parties, doing so with passion and integrity, not just when it was politically convenient. She is running on the concept of Aloha, which comes from Hawaii, standing for love, compassion and our shared humanity.

Rep.Gabbard showed independence when met with then President-elect Trump in November of 2016 and shared with him her feelings on foreign policy. She understood that it would be better trying to work with the administration to achieve something and find common ground, rather than just push partisan gridlock.

She emphasized the importance of diplomacy and courageously traveled to Syria to meet with Bashar Assad in 2017 when given the chance. It can be a precarious world we live in and often global situations aren’t neat and black and white like we’d wish them to be. It is more preferable to speak with our perceived adversaries than dropping more bombs, which has only shown to be destructive and will not solve anything in the long term or help humanity. Our decades-long history of military intervention and regime-change wars have actually weakened us more than anything. Creating and propping up dictators is not a smart practice, and it should be stopped. The mainstream media, who have been demonstrably wrong on foreign policy and the Iraq War, are now trying to smear Rep.Gabbard. Never forget who funds the corporate media and why they might be attacking the Congresswoman instead of covering her policies.

Rep.Gabbard serves on the Armed Services and House Foreign Affairs Committee; members of which meet with world leaders frequently. She is critical of the program where the U.S. is arming so-called “moderate rebels” who are really groups linked to terrorists and she recognizes the need to end such policies. In 2017 she introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, which would stop funding for “Al Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and to countries supporting those organizations.” This bill gets to the heart of what is fundamentally broken with our foreign policy and perpetual use of force around the world.

Tulsi will be in our beautiful state quite often over the next year and I recommend seeing her speak and asking your tough questions. She is up for the challenge.

Many feel we are more divided than ever, and that is certainly what the media and extremists of both parties want you to believe, but I tend to agree with what Tulsi Gabbard says about the divide: “If we can recognize that we are all interconnected, then we can start the process of setting aside these labels and these differences that unfortunately are often used to tear people apart and pit them against each other. We can transcend that and say, ‘How can we work together?’”

Mike Jackman lives in Peterborough.


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